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Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection: The People of MD Anderson

People of MD Anderson

Interviewees A-F

Michael Ahearn, PhD (deceased 2016) (link)

Interviewed: 2011

Primary appt: Department of Laboratory Medicine

Research: Ultrastructural Pathology, leukemia

Admin: Dean, School of Allied Health Professions (1987 – 2011)



Raymond Alexanian, MD (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Myeloma/Lymphoma

Research: stem cells, erythropoietin; combination therapies for myeloma; transplant supported chemotherapy; thalidomide.

Admin: Chief of Section, Myeloma (1998−2004).



Ralph Arlinghaus, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Translational Molecular Pathology

Research: Molecular pathology: genetic and molecular mechanisms and leukemia

Admin: Built Department of Molecular Pathology


Walter Baile, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2016

Primary appt: Behavioral Science [and Psychiatry]

Research: Communications

Admin: Director, Interpersonal Communication and Relationship Enhancement (iCARE) program


The Honorable James A. Baker, III; Former Secretary of State; Member, Board of Visitors


MDA relationship: family gave estate, “The Oaks,” site of first MD Anderson hospital; member, Board of Visitors (1974 - ); inducted to Anderson Assembly (2009); personal donations to MD Anderson.



Robert Bast, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Experimental Therapeutics

Research: translational research, ovarian and breast cancer; biomarkers for early detection; drug sensitivities; monoclonal antibodies; CA125 biomarker; ARHI tumor suppressor gene.

Admin: Head, Division of Medicine (1994 – 2000); Vice President, Office of Translational Research (2000 - ).


William Baun, MS, EPD, CWP, FAWHP (d. 2016)

Interviewed: 2016

Admin: Wellness Officer, HR (2012-2016)

Research: worksite wellness; return on investment; “thrivership” programming

Patient: discusses patient experiences


Robert Benjamin, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology

Research: sarcoma medical oncology; conducted landmark studies establishing chemotherapy treatments, limb salvage and multi-modality treatment.

Admin: Chair, Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology (1993 – 2012).



Frederick Becker, MD (link)

Interviewed:2008, 2011

Primary appt: Department of Molecular Pathology

Research: molecular pathology, epigenesist, chemical agentsepigenesist, chemical agents

Admin: First VP of Research (1979 – 1998).



Gerald Bodey, MD (ret. 1995) (link)

Interviewed:2003, 2013

Primary appt: Department of Infectious Diseases

Research: infectious diseases [cont…]

Admin: Medical Director,Clinical Research Center, Lutheran Pavilion (1977 – 1981);

Director, Office of Research Protocol (1981 – 1983); Chair, Department of Medical Specialties (1987-1995)


Oliver Bogler, PhD (link)

Interviewed: 2014

Primary appt: Department of Neurosurgery

Research: EGFR signaling in glioma and novel platinum compounds.

Admin: Vice President, Global Academic Programs (2010 - ); Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (2011 - ).

Patient: speaks about patient experiences.


Eduardo Bruera, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2018

Primary appt: Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine

Research: Control of cancer pain, physical symptoms, psychosocial, spiritual, and existential issues requiring holistic end-of-life care.

Admin: Chair, Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine (1999-present)


Janet M. Bruner, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2012

Primary appointment: Department of Pathology.

Clinical interests: Brain Tumor Neuropathology, Molecular Diagnostics, Molecular Genetics; Second-Opinion Pathology Reviews

Admin: Deputy Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Fmr Chair, Department of Pathology (1998 – 2000).


Thomas Burke, MD (link)


Primary appt: Professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology

Research: combination-treatment alternatives to radical surgery for uterine and vulvar cancers

Admin: Medical Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Center (1989−1998); Executive Vice President and Physician-in-Chief (2005−2013); Vice President of the MD Anderson Cancer Network (2013 – 2015).


Aman U. Buzdar (link)

Interviewed: 2017

Primary Appt: Breast Medical Oncology

Research: adjuvant therapy, breast cancer

Admin: Vice President, Clinical Research (2010 - )


Mark S. Chambers, D.M.D., M.S.

Interviewed:In-progress [2015, 2016]

Oral oncologist; clinical research investigator with a focus on novel therapeutic approaches to oral sequelae of cancer therapy.  Chair, Section of Oral Oncology, Department of Head and Neck Surgery.]



Angela Cheves (ret.) (link)


Admin: Associate Director of Marketing, Children’s Art Project



Lorenzo Cohen, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of General Oncology and Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine

Admin: Director, Integrative Medicine Program (2002 - )


James Cox, MD (link)

Interviewed:2004, 2013

Primary appt: Division of Radiation Oncology

Clinical: design of clinical trials; radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy and surgery to treat lung cancer, lymphomas, esophageal and prostate cancer; effectiveness of proton therapy in side effects, tumor size, and survival. 

Admin: Vice President of Patient Care and Physician-in-Chief (’88-’92); Head, Division of Radiation Oncology (1995 - 2010).



William Daigneau, M.B.A. (ret. 2013) (link)


Admin: Chief Facilities Officer and Vice President for Operations and Facilities Management (1994 – 2013).


Ronald DePinho, MD (link)

Primary dept: Department of Cancer Biology


Research: Integrated genomics and biological systems approach; oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes; mechanisms of telomeres and DNA damage checkpoint pathways; cancer/stem cells and developmental pathways tumors; novel cancer therapies.

Admin: 4th President of MD Anderson (2011 - ).



Ethan Dmitrovsky, MD (link)

Primary dept: Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine.


Research: retinoid differentiation-based therapy for APL; retinoid mechanisms leading to cell cycle arrest and repair of DNA damage in normal/malignant lung epithelial cells; lung cancer cell lines leading to a new model to assess activity of lung cancer therapy and chemopreventive agents (antineoplastics).

Admin: Provost and Executive Vice President (2013 - ).


Wenonah Ecung, MS, PhD (ret. 2016) (link)

Interviewed: 2016/2017

Admin: VP Clinical Administration 


Linda Elting, PhD, MPH (ret. 2014) (link)

Primary dept: Department of Biostatistics & Applied Mathematics


Research: epidemiology; value of care; effects of health policy on delivery of care. 

Admin: Chief of Section, Health Services Research, Department of Biostatistics and Applied Mathematics (2001 – 2014); Chair,  IRB IV (2005 – 2014).



Carmen Escalante, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of General Internal Medicine

Research: deep venous thrombosis; dynspnea and risk models that predict imminent death; cancer-related fatigue.

Admin: Chair, Department of General Internal Medicine (2005 - ).


Name: Michael S. Ewer, MD, MPH, JD, LLM, MBA (link)

Interviewed: 2018

Primary appt: Division of Medicine

Research: cardio-toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents

Admin: Committee member, 1st Ethics Committee; Committee Chair, 1988-1993



Isaiah Joshua Fidler, DVM, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Cancer Biology

Research: biology and therapy of cancer metastasis.

Admin: Director, Metastasis Research Laboratory.



Michael Fisch, MD (left MDA 2015) (link)


Primary appt: Department of General Medical Oncology

Research: symptom experience, symptom management and cardio-oncology; chemotherapy and depression. 

Admin: Director, Community Clinical Oncology Program (2004 – 2015); Chair, Department of General Medical Oncology (2009 – 2015).



Lewis Foxhall, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2014

Primary appt: Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention

Admin: Associate VP for Health Policy (1994 – 2005).  Vice President for Health Policy (2005-).



Ralph Freedman, MD, PhD (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Gynecologic Oncology.

Research: immunology and gynecologic cancers, inflammatory response

Admin: Director and Chief of Immunology and Molecular Biology Research (’88-’07)



Emil J Freireich, MD (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed:2001, 2011

Primary appt: Developmental Therapeutics.

Research: Leukemia—discovered first successful chemotherapy treatment for childhood cancer.

Chair, Developmental Therapeutics; Chair, Department of Hematology; Director, Adult Leukemia Research Program.

Featured in Ken Burns’ “The Emperor of All Maladies.”

Interviewees G-O

Gibson Gayle, JD


MDA relationship: Board member, MD Anderson Foundation (1980 - ), President (1993-); associate member, MD Anderson Board of Visitors.


Helmut Goepfert, MD (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Head and Neck Surgery

Research: chemoprevention w/ derivatives of Vitamin A; combination therapies and to preserve larynx functionality

Admin: Chair, Department of Head and Neck Surgery (1982 – 2003)



Ellen Gritz, PhD (ret. 2014) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Behavioral Sciences

Research: smoking cessation and the psycho-social dimensions of cancer

Admin: Chair, Department of Behavioral Sciences (1993 – 2014).



Jordan U. Gutterman, MD (link)

Interviewed:2004, 2006, 2012

Primary appt: Department of Systems Biology

Research: Interferon, Avicins and nutrition


JoAnne Hale (link)

Interviewed: 2018

Admin: Administrative Assistant in President’s Office under R. Lee Clark, C. LeMaistre, J. Mendelsohn

Karen K. Harrison (link)


Primary appt: Volunteer Services.

Admin: Manager, Children’s Art Project (1980 – 1990); Assistant Director, Volunteer Services (1990 – 2005); volunteer.



Amy Carpenter Hay, BA, MS (link)


Admin: VP, Global Business Development (2008 – 2012); Vice President, Business Development in (2012- present).



C. Stratton Hill, Jr, MD (deceased 2015) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Symptom Research

Research: endocrinology and thyroid cancer; pain management

Admin: Associate Director of the Ambulatory Care Clinics (1974-19790); Director, Pain Clinic [the Pain Management Center] (1981 – 1992).


Kathryn Hoffman (link)

Interviewed: 2018

Primary appt: staff


Admin: Director, Research Medical Library


Warren Holleman, PhD (link)

Interviewed: 2017

Primary appt: Department of Behavioral Science

Admin: Director, Faculty Health and Wellbeing Program (2010 – 2017)



Waun Ki Hong, MD (link)


Primary appt: Division of Cancer Medicine

Research: retinoids and oral carcinogenesis; molecular therapeutics; cancer prevention; organ preservation; personalized targeted therapy.

Admin: Chair, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology (1993 – 2013); Head, Division of Cancer Medicine (2001 – 2013); Named to the National Academy of Science. 



Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Breast Medical Oncology

Research: multimodality and adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments for breast cancer; personalized therapies and gene therapy.

Admin: Chief of Section, Breast Medical Oncology (1984 – 1992); Founding Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncology (1992 – 2012).



Debbie Houston, MSN (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Information Technology

Research: Oncology Nursing; the role of technology in patient care

Admin: Director of Nursing (1986 – 1995); Center Administrative Director for Hematology (1995 - 1997); Director of Information Systems Clinical Operations and Projects (2005 – ).



​Mien-Chie Hung, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology

Research: demonstrated antitumor activity of adenovirus type EA1 gene in HER2/neu cancer cells; signaling transduction pathways of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors; molecular mechanisms of oncogenes, including tumorigenesis; therapies for breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer

Admin: Chair, Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology (2000 - ).  Vice President for Basic Research (2010 - ).



Norman Jaffe, MD (ret. 2006) (link)


Primary appt: Pediatrics

Research: clinical treatments for solid tumors; long-term effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on children; psychosocial challenges of long-term survivors.

Admin: Chief, Pediatric Outpatient Clinic (1992-1994); Chief, Long Term Surveillance Clinic for Pediatric Patients Cured of Cancer (1996-2000).


Lovell A. Jones, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine

Research: synthetic estrogens in uterine and ovarian cancer; health disparities.

Admin: minority health and health disparities initiatives (E.g. the Biennial Symposium Series on ‘Minorities, the Medically Underserved and Cancer’ (’88); National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer (’95); Inter-cultural Cancer Council).


Rebecca Kaul, MBA (link)

Interviewed: 2016

Admin: VP of Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer (2015-), Office of Strategy and Innovation


Michael Keating, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Leukemia

Research: Leukemia and lymphoma combination therapies.

Co-leader, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Moon Shot Program.


Eugenie Kleinerman, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Pediatrics

Research: immunological treatments for pediatric osteosarcoma; MEPACT and other agents; combination therapies; novel delivery systems.

Admin: Head, Pediatrics (2001 – 2015).



Alfred Knudson, MD [video interview for Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences] (link)

Interviewed: 2013

Research: Cancer and hereditary redisposition

Admin: Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1970-1976


Margaret Kripke, PhD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2007, 2012

Primary appt: Department of Immunology

Research: Photo-immunology and skin cancer

Admin: Executive  VP and Chief Academic Officer; Women Faculty Organization



Leon Leach, MBA, PhD (link)


Admin: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (1997 - ).



Norman Leeds, MD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed: 2017

Primary appt: Diagnostic Radiology

Admin: Head, Section of Neuroradiology



Charles A. LeMaistre, MD [ret.] (link)


Primary Appointment:

Research: development of antibiotics for treatment of pulmonary disease; keratin.

Admin: [Chancellor, University of Texas System] Second president of MD Anderson (1978-1996).


Bernard Levin, MD (ret. 2007) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Digestive Diseases.

Research: markers for early detection of colorectal cancer and management of polyposis; surgical adjuvant therapies; chemo-preventative treatments. 

Admin: Chair, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Digestive Diseases (1984 – 1994); Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences (1994 – 2007).


Benjamin Lichtiger, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. (ret. 2008) (link)


Primary Appointment: Laboratory Medicine

Clinical interests: Transfusion Medicine

Admin:  Section Chief, Transfusion Medicine (overseeing Blood Bank, 1974 – 2001; Chair, Laboratory Medicine (1999 – 2008)


Bill Joe “Red” McCombs


MDA relationship: Member of Board of Visitors; Gifted $30 million to expand Research Park (the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer).



Mary Catherine Bussey Boice McGready (link)

Interviewed:2016 [in progress]

Role: Medical Librarian (1943)

Fourth employee at MD Anderson hired by Ernst Bertner, MD.



Marvin Meistrich,
PhD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed: 2017

Primary appt: Experimental Radiation Oncology

Research: spermatid nuclear proteins, spermatogenesis, impact of chemotherapy on oncofertility; cryopreservation and transplantation

Additional: patient experiences



John Mendelsohn, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2005, 2012

Primary appt: Department of Experimental Therapeutics

Research: monoclonal antibodies, Cetuximab

Admin: 3rd President of MD Anderson (1996 – 2011); Director, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer TherapyZayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy


Gordon Mills, MD, PhD (link)

Interviewed: 2016

Primary appt: Systems Biology

Research: ovarian and breast cancer

Admin: Chair, Dept. Systems Biology (2006 - ); Director, Zayed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy; Co-Director, Women’s Cancer Moon Shot program.



Patrick Mulvey (link)


Admin: Vice President, Office of Development (2000 - ).

Interviewees P-Z

Walter Pagel, ELS (ret.) (link)

Interviewed: 2012

Primary appt: Department of Scientific Publications

Support area: editor, scientific publications

Admin: Director, Department of Scientific Publications (1984 - )


William Plunkett, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Experimental Therapeutics.

Research: cellular mechanisms of tumor viability: nucleoside analogues (fludarabine, gemcitabine), apoptosis; leukemia.  Co-Director, Moon Shot: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Admin: Chief, Section of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Experimental Therapeutics (1993−2004);  Director of Research Development (2005−2008); Deputy Chair, Department of Experimental Therapeutics (2008 - ).   Institutional Research Integrity Officer.



Donald Podoloff, MD (link)

Primary dept: Nuclear Medicine

Research: diagnostic methods and therapies for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; functional imaging to locate tumors and determine drug dosages.

Admin: Chair, Department of Nuclear Medicine (1993-2005); Division Head, Division of Diagnostic Imaging (2001-2010); Medical Director, Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (2009 - ).



Raphael Pollock, MD (left MDA 2013) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Surgical Oncology.

Research: surgical techniques, surgical stress, natural killer cells, molecular approaches to soft tissue sarcoma; angiogenesis, chemoresistance, novel therapeutics

Admin: Chair, Department of Surgical Oncology (1994 – 2010); Head, Division of Surgery (1997 – 2012).


Martin Raber, MD (ret. 2011) (link)

Interviewed: 2013/2014

Primary appointment: Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology

Research: Tumors of unknown origin

Admin: Associate Vice President for Patient Care (1992 -1994); Physician-in-Chief (1994 – 1996); Vice President, Managed Care and Outreach Programs (1996 -1998).


Alma Rodriguez, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma

Research: treatments for lymphoid malignancies.

Admin: Vice President, Medical Affairs (2005-).



Regina Rogers


Primary appt: NA

MDA relationship: Member, Board of Visitors (second generation); philanthropic support of institution (second generation)



William Satterfield, DVM (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Veterinary Science

Clinical interests: immunology, HIV, ovarian cancer, tissue engineering.

Admin: Chief of Livestock and Land Management, Department of Veterinary Sciences; Chief, Chimpanzee Biomedical Research Resource.


Raymond Sawaya, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Neurosurgery

Research: role of fibrinogen in cancer’s invasion of brain tissue; primary and metastatic brain tumors, third ventricle, brain stem and pineal region tumors; accessibility and safety of brain tumor surgery

Admin: Chair, Neurosurgery (1990 - )



Donna Sollenberger (left MDA 1997) (link)


Admin: Division Administrator, Division of Surgery and Anesthesiology (1991 – 1993); Vice President, Hospitals and Clinics (1993 – 1997).


Margaret Spitz, MD (left MDA, 2011) (link)

Interviewed: 2016

Primary appt: Department of Epidemiology

Research: predictive models for lung cancer; conceptualizing sub-field of integrative epidemiology

Admin: Founding chair, Department of Epidemiology (1995-2008)


George Stancel, PhD. (link)


Primary appt: Departments of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, and Gynecologic Oncology, UT Medical School.

Research: estrogen and uterine cancer

Admin: Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (1999 – 2012);

Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs of UT Health Sciences Center



Marilyn Stovall, PhD (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed: 2012

Primary appt: Department of Radiation Physics

Research: epidemiology, late effects of radiation therapy

Admin: Director, Dosimetry Radiation Services, Director, Late Effects Studies Group


John Stroehlein, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Research: cancers of the hollow gastrointestinal tract; screening for gastrointestinal cancer; combination treatments; primary and secondary prevention of cancer

Admin: Section Chief, Gastroenterology (1977-1982); ad interim Chair, Deputy Chair, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (2003 - ); Co-Medical Director, Department of Patient Affairs (2006 - ).



Louise Strong, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Genetics

Research: cancer genetics, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Admin: Chief of Section, Clinical Cancer Genetics, Department of Genetics


Steven Stuyck, MPH (ret. 2013) (link)


Admin: Director, Public Information and Education (1975 – 1985); Assistant to the President (1981 – 1986); Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs (1985 – 1988); Associate Vice President for Public Affairs (1988 – 1999); Vice President, Public Affairs (2000 – 2013).


Pamela “Sat-Siri” Austin Sumler, LMT, BCTMB, CLT, E-RYT (link)



Barbara L. Summers, PhD (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed: 2014

Admin: Chief Nursing Officer and Associate Vice President of Clinical Programs (2000−2003).  Chief Nursing Officer and Head of the Division of Nursing (2003 – 2015).


Peggy Taylor Tinkey, DVM (link)

Primary Appointment: Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Research: catheterization

Admin: Department Chair (2006 – present)


Elizabeth Travis, PhD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology

Research: effects of radiation therapy on (normal) lung tissue.

Admin: Associate Vice President, Women Faculty Programs (2006 - ).



Stephen Tomasovic, PhD (ret.) (link)


Primary appt: Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology

Admin: Senior VP, Academic Affairs (2006 – 2011); Founder, Cancer Biology Program.



Louise Villejo (ret. 2015) (link)


Primary appt: Patient Education Office

Admin: Executive Director of the Patient Education Office.


Bill Wooten,
PhD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed: 2017

Admin: Founding Executive Director, Office of Business Transformation (Human Resources)

Janis Apted Yadiny, MLS (link)


Admin: Associate Vice President of Faculty and Academic Development (2008 - ).



Alfred Yung, MD (link)


Primary appt: Department of Neuro-Oncology

Research: chromosomal heterogeneity in tumors and drug sensitivity; epidermal growth factors and drug effectiveness.

Admin: Chair, Department of Neuro-Oncology (1999 - 2014); Co-Director, Brain Tumor Center.


Search and Use

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection can be used in a variety of ways; not only to comment on the past, but to address the present and future of the institution.

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If you have inquires or need assistance with the collection, please contact:

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